3-30-20 Family's First Act Summary

What is in the Family’s First Act in response to the coronavirus pandemic; with cash and assistance for regular Americans, Main Street businesses and hard-hit airlines and manufacturers among others.



Direct payments to individuals

Under the plan as it was being negotiated, single Americans would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400 and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17.

The payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all. The thresholds are doubled for couples.



Student loan payments suspended

The Department of Education would suspend payments on student loan borrowers without penalty through September 30.

The Department of Education is planning to allow student loan borrowers to suspend payments without penalty and accruing interest for at least 60 days.

 

REAL ID deadline delayed

The deadline to obtain a REAL ID, federally mandated identification that will be needed for passengers to board aircraft, will be extended until at least September 2021.



Boost for unemployment benefits

In an unprecedented expansion of unemployment insurance, the federal government would give jobless workers an extra $600 a week for four months on top of their state benefits.

In addition, lawmakers want to add up to 13 weeks of extended benefits, which would be fully covered by the federal government. Currently, state unemployment checks last up to between 12 weeks and 28 weeks.

Stimulus bill offers $600 a week to the unemployed for 4 months.

The deal calls for a new pandemic unemployment assistance program, which would provide jobless benefits to those who are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because of the virus and don't qualify for traditional benefits. This includes independent contractors and the self-employed, who typically don't qualify for such assistance, and to gig economy workers, who aren't eligible in many states. These benefits would mirror what's available in an individual's state.

$500 billion lending program

The Treasury Department can provide $500 billion in loans, loan guarantees and investments.

That specifically includes $25 billion for passenger air carriers, $4 billion for cargo air carriers and $17 billion for businesses that work in national security. The rest of the funds, $454 billion, are given wide latitude to provide loans to businesses, states and municipalities.

The measure includes restrictions on businesses who receive the loans. Those businesses may not issue dividends for up to a year after the loan is no longer outstanding and must retain 90% of employment levels as of March 24, "to the extent practicable," through September 30. The loans also cannot last longer than five years.

There's a specific provision in the program for direct loans to mid-sized businesses, defined as between 500 and 10,000 employees, as well as non-profit organizations, where no payments will be due for the first six months after the loan is issued.

A congressional oversight commission will monitor how the money is spent.

The legislation prohibits federally elected officials and their immediate relatives from obtaining funds from the $500 billion program.

Businesses that are owned or partly owned by "the President, the Vice President, the head of an Executive department, or a Member of Congress; and the spouse, child, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law" will be barred. The provision applies to anyone with 20% or greater stake in a business.



No money for border wall

The Defense Department will get $1.2 billion for the National Guard's coronavirus response. Over 10,000 National Guard members to date have been activated.

An additional $1 billion is available for Defense Purchases Act purchases.

The Pentagon will be allowed to transfer the money to other "applicable" accounts, but it prohibits transferring the money to the counter-drug account, an account which has been used to fund the border wall.

 

Airlines and airports

The package includes $32 billion in grants for wages and benefits to the airline industry.

That includes $25 billion for passenger airlines, $4 billion for cargo airlines, and $3 billion for industry contractors, such as those who handle catering, baggage, ticketing, and aircraft cleaning.

In addition, another $25 billion for passenger airlines and $4 billion for cargo airlines will be available in the form of loans or loan guarantees.

Companies that receive the assistance are barred from making furloughs, pay cuts, or stock buybacks, and from issuing dividends to investors, through September. It also institutes a limit on executive compensation.

Airlines may also be required to operate routes they would otherwise like to cancel because of low ridership or profitability. Under the bill, the Transportation Department can require air carriers continue service on routes, particularly for the "needs of small and remote communities and the need to maintain well-functioning health care and pharmaceutical supply chains, including for medical devices and supplies."

 

Contractors and 'gig' workers

Independent contractors and so-called gig workers will be eligible to receive federal aid. The language could provide additional certainty to millions of part-time workers who drive for Uber or deliver for Amazon and daily employees, in what has become a major part of the digital economy.

Stimulus bill includes $100M arts funding.

Gig economy businesses such as Uber have battled fiercely at the state level, especially in California, to avoid having to classify their drivers as employees who would be eligible for corporate benefits.

Protections against foreclosures and evictions

The bill includes housing protections against foreclosures on mortgages and evictions for renters.

The bill states that anyone facing a financial hardship from coronavirus shall be given a forbearance on a federally backed mortgage loan of up to 60 days, which can be extended for four periods of 30 days each. The legislation says that servicers of federally backed mortgage loans may not begin the foreclosure process for 60 days from March 18.

The bill also does not allow fees, penalties or additional interest to be charged as a result of delayed payments. It includes similar protections for those with multifamily federal mortgage loans, allowing them to receive a 30-day forbearance and up to two 30-day extensions.

Those with federally backed mortgage loans who have tenants would also not be allowed to evict tenants solely for failure to pay rent for a 120-day period, and they may not charge fees or penalties to tenants for failing to pay rent.

 

$25 million for the Kennedy Center

The bill contains $25 million to support the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Stimulus bill includes $100M arts funding .

The stimulus package includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.



More funding for food assistance

The bill provides $450 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program, which supplies food banks, which are expected to see more clients as job losses mount. $350 million would buy additional food, and $100 million would be used for distribution.

The package also provides $200 million for food assistance for Puerto Rico and other US territories, as well as $100 million for food distribution on Native American lands.

While it appears that the bill provides billions in additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and Child Nutrition Program, it would not expand eligibility or benefits.



Evacuations of Americans

The bill includes $324 million for the State Department, as well as money specifically for "evacuation expenses. The proposed legislation doesn't specify who would be evacuated, whether it's US diplomats or American citizens living overseas, or potentially both.



Peace Corps, Diplomatic Programs and Refugees

The bill includes $88 million for the Peace Corps, an independent US government agency that sends American volunteers abroad. The organization suspended all operations last week and evacuated its volunteers.

In addition, the measure provides an additional $324 million for diplomatic programs, $258 million for international disaster assistance, $350 million for migration and refugee assistance and $95 million for USAID operating expenses.

Section: 

Address

IATSE, Local 728
Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians
1001 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91506
(818) 954-0728
Map

Conditions of Use | Site Map

Phone

Office:
  818-954-0728
  800-551-2158
FAX:
  818-954-0732

Local 728 Bulletin

The color version of the Local 728 Bulletin is available online.